Take a Free Hike in Sonoma County During California’s First State Parks Week

Sonoma County State Parks is celebrating the outdoors with a series of free events as part of the first California State Parks Week, which kicked off Tuesday and will continue through Saturday.

Inspired by National Parks Week, which takes place every April, the new California State Parks Week is presented by California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League, Parks California and the California State Parks Foundation, and offers free access to the oldest state in the country. park system, as well as guided hikes, workshops and other events.

“California State Parks Week is a fun and inclusive way to celebrate the wonder and sense of community that the outdoors provides to California residents and visitors from around the world,” said Kindley Walsh Lawlor, President and CEO. direction of Parks California, in a statement.

Each day of the five-day celebration focuses on a different theme.

In Sonoma County, the health and wellness day of the week includes a forest therapy walk at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, 2605 Adobe Canyon Road, Kenwood. Forest therapy, also known as forest bathing, is a Japanese practice promoting sensory awareness and mindfulness that has gained momentum in the West over the past decade. RSVP at bit.ly/3O5DbHS.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park will also be offering a fire recovery hike at 9 a.m. Friday as part of the weekday stewardship day. Sonoma Ecology Center Community Science Coordinator Dr. Dan Levitis will lead a walk through the park’s Lower Bald Mountain Trail, which has burned twice in the past five years, and explain why it burned and how to prepare. for it to happen again. RSVP at bit.ly/3NSFMVP.

The week ends Saturday with a day celebrating the partners and volunteers who help support the state park system. In Sonoma County, enjoy 9 a.m. guided tours of the Wolf House and Beauty Ranch at Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, and join the Volunteer Open House at noon at Sonoma State Historic Park , 20 E Spain St., Sonoma.

Also Saturday, the Latino community is invited to take a nature walk on a Spanish Hike in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park beginning at 9 a.m. and ending with a potluck lunch. RSVP at bit.ly/3O9fe2N.

Sponsored by Governor Gavin Newsom, California State Parks Week aims to advance the “California Outdoors For All” initiative, launched in December 2021, which uses $548.3 million in state grants to create and revitalize parks throughout the state.

“The state is committed to expanding safe and equitable outdoor access to all Californians,” Newsom wrote in a June 14 proclamation. “We are advancing bold investments and innovative tools – including the new California State Park Adventure Pass and State Library Parks Pass programs – for children and families to explore our state park system, regardless of zip code. or their income.

Edward K. Thompson